I'm back... hopefully (yet again!) I'll publish here more often as the year goes on.
I am sure many fans of shortwave radio remember the name Harry Helms -- principally as the author of Shortwave Listening Guidebook. In more recent times, Harry has authored a blog, called "The Future Of Radio", which challenged much of the traditional thinking in the role of shortwave radio as an international broadcasting medium targeting North America.
Harry's health required him to end production of the blog this past August, but the Internet Archive provides at least a partial history of his musings.
A good example of Harry's position taken from an archived page of his blog: "I've made the point here before that podcasting, internet streaming, and satellite radio are far better suited for reaching audiences in developed nations than shortwave."
A phone interview with Harry is carried in the April 2007 issue of Monitoring Times magazine. It summarizes much of Harry's thinking in this area.
Longtime shortwave enthusiasts will not enjoy what Harry has to say, but when you couple what he says with the trends identified in the recent PBS Frontline documentary series News War, if you put yourself in the shoes of a broadcaster trying to reach a North American audience, you can see why there is movement away from shortwave.
Good food for thought.